Reviews for Lion & Lamb: two investigators, two rivals, one hell of a crime

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The newest from Patterson and Swierczynski (The House Husband, 2017) has a setup you’ll either accept or you won’t: in Philadelphia, two rival private investigators, Veena Lion and Cooper Lamb, lead the defense and the prosecution respectively in a high-profile murder case gearing up for trial. Will these adversaries find common ground in their search for the truth? Some readers might find the name play with the lion and lamb metaphor a bit too cute, but the authors seem to know they’re pushing it and there’s a solid, well-developed story here, and some interesting characters, too. While the writing is purportedly a collaboration, the prose style primarily resembles Swierczynski’s (readers of Secret Dead Men, The Blonde, and the Anthony Award–winning Expiration Date will recognize his signature playfulness). Patterson fans who read anything with his name on it will need no convincing for this one, while those who have found the quality of his recent output to fluctuate depending on the strength of his cowriter can be reassured that this is a well-crafted legal thriller.

Publishers Weekly
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This easygoing mystery from bestseller Patterson (the Alex Cross series) and Marvel comics writer Swierczynski centers on rival Philadelphia PIs Veena Lion and Cooper Lamb, both of whom have been hired to investigate the slaying of Eagles quarterback Archie Hughes. Archie was found shot to death in his Maserati on a freezing January night and missing his watch and Super Bowl ring. Chief among the multiple suspects is Archie’s wife, Francine Pearl Hughes, a Grammy-winning singer and film star who’s possibly even more famous than her late husband. Veena has been tapped by the Philadelphia district attorney to help build the case against Francine; Cooper is working on her defense. As their investigations develop, questions about Archie’s own innocence muddy the waters. The expected romance between Cooper and Veena is artfully handled, and Patterson and Swierczynski keep the core mystery breezing along, populating it with endearing characters including Cooper’s two preternaturally clever kids and his Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. Though the final reveal is a bit of a letdown, readers won’t much mind. This is a fun ride. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Aug.)